Fire department employees walk outside the Tesla car factory in Grünheide, Germany (Sebastian Gollnow_AP)Fire department employees walk outside the Tesla car factory in Grünheide, Germany (Sebastian Gollnow_AP)


Far-left militant group admits arson attack on Tesla factory in Germany

  • Militants strike at Tesla factory in Grünheide
  • High-voltage transmission line is set on fire
  • Production halted and workers evacuated
  • Interior minister condemns ‘perfidious attack’
  • Expansion plans by Tesla have led to protests

Time 2:25 pm, March 5, 2024

A far-left militant group has admitted carrying out an arson attack on Tesla’s factory near Berlin today.

Production came to a standstill and workers were evacuated after a power failure caused by the fire at the Grünheide plant in the Brandenburg state. About 12,500 people work at the plant.

The early morning fire, caused when a high-voltage transmission line was set ablaze, also led to the power supply failing in surrounding towns.

According to the German news agency dpa, Michael Stubgen, interior minister for Brandenburg, said initial findings had indicated the fire was intentional, the PA news agency said in a report filed by the Associated Press.

‘If the initial findings are confirmed, it will be a perfidious attack on our electricity infrastructure,’ Stubgen said.

Reuters subsequently reported that the far-left militant organisation Vulkangruppe (Volcano Group) posted a letter on alternative media website to say: ‘We sabotaged Tesla.’

The group added: ‘Tesla consumes [the] Earth, resources, people, workers and in return spits out 6,000 SUVs, killer cars and monster trucks each week.’

A view of the Tesla car factory after production came to a standstill (Sebastian Gollnow_AP)

A view of the factory after production came to a standstill today

It added that the attack was ‘a gift’ to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.

The letter was signed ‘Agua De Pau’, which is the name of an Azores volcanic mountain. Police are checking the letter’s authenticity.

Expansion plans by Tesla have led to environmental activists protesting in a forest near the plant.

Dozens of them have put up tents and built treehouses, some of them several metres above the ground — a tactic used in previous German environmental protests.

Tesla opened the Grünheide factory in March 2022 and now wants to add a freight depot, warehouses plus company kindergarten.

That would mean felling some 247 acres of forest, which has met with opposition from environmentalists and other local groups, who are also concerned about possible effects on the area’s water supply.

In a non-binding vote last month, residents of the municipality rejected Tesla’s plans, which still need approval by local authorities.

Fire department employees are pictured at top walking outside the Tesla factory in Grünheide today. Images: Sebastian Gollnow/AP

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

More stories...

ATG Advert
Server 108